David Trubridge, CCA's 2006 Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor in Wood Arts: Less Is More

As a Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor in Wood Arts, David Trubridge worked with graduate students in Fine Arts and with a group of undergraduate students enrolled in the Studio: Atelier course.

The challenge for the undergraduate students was to create a load-bearing furniture structure that was made from a skin of thin, repeated CNC-cut pieces. The structure gained its strength from the compound curvature of the shell, where all the pieces are in compression, as opposed to building with more conventional tension methods. Design used the minimum amount of material possible, and focused on sustainability and design for production.

About David Trubride

David Trubridge is a designer of international repute whose skills are built on his earlier wealth of craft knowledge.

He graduated as a naval architect from Newcastle University in Britain, but since then he has worked as a furniture designer and maker and as an architect. He settled in New Zealand after sailing there on a yacht with his family.

His design process combines innate craft knowledge, sculptural abstraction, and computer design technology, as it draws on his life's rich experiences. He is New Zealand's best-known furniture designer and regularly exhibits overseas in Japan, North America, and Europe.

In the last few years he has exhibited at 100% Design in London, four times at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, and twice at ICFF in New York. His Body Raft design is currently being manufactured by Cappellini, and two have been purchased by Philippe Starck. His design Raft was the only piece of furniture in the finals of the Japan Design Foundation's International Design Competition 2001, and was also selected for the International Design Yearbook (IDYB) 2002. Sling won Best Product of 2002 from the Designers Institute of New Zealand and was selected for the IDYB 2003.

Over recent years, his designs have been featured over 60 times in publications around the world, from Portugal to Lithuania, Ireland to Taiwan, including the influential Italian magazines Abitare, ddn, and Interni, plus Wallpaper, I.D., and the Financial Times. For two years in a row, Abitare picked one of his designs for its preview of the best things to see in the Milan Furniture Fair.

In New Zealand, he has set up his own manufacturing workshop and a design incubator for design graduates. These are part of a wood-processing cluster network of which he is a founding member. He has also designed a number of large-scale public sculptures and many masonry houses in the Hawkes Bay area.

He was one of the Antarctic Arts Fellows who was selected to go to Antarctica in the austral summer of 2004–5. This is leading to a new body of work with an environmentally conscious theme.

He has presented at conferences in Auckland, New Zealand; Adelaide and Perth, Australia; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Dongguan, China; and has given many public lectures around the world. He has run two Vitra Design Museum summer design courses in France and worked with students in Iceland on a project having to do with whaling.